Art. LIX.—On the Occurrence of Juncus lamprocarpus, Ehr., in New Zealand.
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 29th August, 1874.]
In the early part of the present year I discovered Juncus lamprocarpus, Ehr., growing in great abundance about Karori and other places in the vicinity of Wellington; and a few months later in the southern part of the province of Otago. About Wellington it occurs only in wet, swampy places, where it often forms a large portion of the herbage and is closely cropped by cattle; at Invercargill it is found not only in swamps, but in places where the soil is scarcely moist, even on the railroad track, a peculiarity which is possibly due to the greater amount of moisture in the atmosphere at the latter place.
Juncus lamprocarpus is allied to J. holoschœnus, Br., which it resembles in the jointed and compressed stems and leaves, but from which it differs in the much branched panicle, in the segments of the perianth being shorter than the capsule, and especially in the fascicles never being collected into lateral cymes.
When compared with British specimens, the New Zealand plant is seen to have the internal divisions of the leaf and stem more prominent, while both the inner and outer segments of the perianth are acute and much shorter in relation to the capsule.
Our plant may be expected to prove of not unfrequent occurrence in the South Island, although probably confined to the province of Wellington in the North.
The avidity with which it is eaten by cattle is doubtless one cause of its having been so long overlooked in this district.